Setting Goals - Part 2 Planning a Coastal SUP Journey

What are your goals?

Many would think that defining goals is better suited to a business environment rather than a Stand Up Paddleboard Adventure.  I believe that better understanding your goals, what you would like to achieve on a Paddle Adventure will aid all aspects of your planning.

My most established goal as stated in the introductionis:-

‘To explore inaccessible stunning stretches of coastline, have a picnic on a beach with no other footprints and enjoy looking out over the ocean with friends, a paddle which  challenges me.’ 

Here are a few more:-

·         To learn to plan & navigate on a Coastal SUP

·         To find an interesting feature or view just outside of the cove

·         To create a journey A to B with lots of changing views and points of interest

·         To find a beach where you can set up for the day and use as a base for snorkelling



Who will be paddling with you?

The number, ability and fitness of the group is important, and back to definingyour leadership, the more experienced you are relative to the group then the more accountable you are.  The whole group should share the goal and should be capable of the journey.

In the outdoors it is often said that 3 people is the minimum, as in case of an emergency if one is injured one can give first aid while one goes for help.  I am pragmatic if the necessary precautions and planning are in place.

I would say that more than 4 people the group can become unmanageable if there is no outdoor leadership experience within the group. 


Is the location right for you and your group?

The difficulty of a paddle and the general levels of risk can be assessed by asking a few of questions:-

1.       Is it sheltered from the prevailing Atlantic swell?  A west facing beach or coastline running north to south, not hidden behind another land mass such as the Lizard will only be suitable on the calmest of days.

2.       Is there shelter from the wind?

3.       Are there a lot of options for stopping and regular places which you can exit from?

4.       Are there multiple paddles from the launch site, allowing for back up plans?

These questions should be considered throughout the planning process and once you are broadly happy you can consider the route in more detail and in different conditions.